Do you ever wonder how brands create a community of raving fans? It’s creating an exceptional customer experience worth talking about. And in today’s episode Kathryn shares how you can do that.
Do you ever wonder how brands create a community of raving fans?
It’s creating an exceptional customer experience worth talking about. And in today’s episode Kathryn shares how you can do that.
So if you’re a business owner looking to create a community of raving fans doing the selling for you through word of mouth, Kathryn shares how to do that.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING TO TODAY’S EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
● Easy ways to enhance your customer experience without blowing the budget.
● The important factors to consider when cultivating an exceptional customer experience.
● Why this is the best way to create a community of raving fans.
● How word of mouth can increase your referrals.
If this episode inspires you in some way, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and let us know your biggest takeaway–whether how word of mouth can increase your referrals or the easy ways to enhance your customer experience without blowing the budget.
And while you’re here, make sure to follow us on Instagram @creativelyowned for more daily inspiration on how to effortlessly attract the most aligned clients without having to spend hours marketing your business or chasing clients. Also, make sure to tag me in your stories @creativelyowned.
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I want to begin by defining what the customer experience entails. For those listeners that might be like, I don't know if I'm doing this in my business, but if I am, it's definitely not intentional, or for the business owners that are like, I have no idea what this is, I'm not even considering it. Then you’re in the right place to learn how to create an exceptional customer experience.
And why you should care about creating a customer experience worth talking about if you want to grow your business using word of mouth and referrals. Also, if you want to offer a premium service or product within your product or service suite.
So the customer experience is something that your business does that makes the experience of dealing with you enjoyable, peaceful, calming, fun, etc. These are all adjectives that I'm using because not all of them are going to apply to what you're trying to achieve or do in your business. Because not all businesses are going to create a customer experience that's fun, enjoyable, relaxing, peaceful, or calming. As business owners, we want to define what it is we’re hoping to achieve within our business, and the customer experience we want our customers to have while working with us.
And the customer experience we want them to continue to have as they leave our business. So for example, I pay a premium to get my pedicures done at a spa versus paying less money to get my pedicure done at a mall or shop, where you go and there's like 10 chairs and a bunch of different workers. And it's like hustling, bustling, and really noisy and you're kind of in and out within 15 minutes. No, I pay a premium to go to the spa for the customer experience I am looking for – peaceful, calming, and relaxing. I take an hour out of my day. I get a beautiful hot neck wrap, they hand me a drink menu, I can order a glass of wine, if I want, I'm sitting in a massage chair, they massage my arms while my feet are soaking. It's just a very lovely customer experience.
And what they've cultivated at this spa is something that I wouldn't trade for a lower cost, quick service. That's not to say that the low-cost quick service isn't as busy they probably are because they are appealing to somebody that doesn't want to necessarily pay for the premium service, they don't really care about a relaxing atmosphere, they don't have the time to sit there for an hour, whatever their reasoning is.
That is why it's so important to really understand what your customers want and what they classify as an exceptional customer experience. But also, first and foremost, establish what type of customer experience you want to cultivate for them. And you'll ultimately attract those types of clients to your business. Clients that will become raving fans that do the selling for you through word of mouth and referrals.
This is why it's so important for business owners to care about cultivating a customer experience your customers want. Because when you cultivate this exceptional customer experience, not only does it grow their business through word of mouth and referrals, but it actually keeps people coming back because there's nothing that's going to change their minds. Just like I wouldn’t change going to the spa for my pedicures.
So it helps you attract a loyal fan base that keeps coming back each and every time that they need your product or your service. It's also a strategy that is essentially free if you do it well. And something that I think is highly overlooked in the business world.
I remember when I first started my business, somebody had mentioned that I needed to spend x amount of dollars on advertising. And then I had somebody else say that word of mouth is not a good strategy and that if you spend time doing that, eventually it's going to plateau. That's why I really wanted to do this episode because I wanted to share with you how we cultivated that exceptional customer experience very intentionally for our customers. We did it to not only grow the business but also to differentiate our business from other similar businesses within our industry.
It’s also the same strategy I use in my online business and how I've essentially been running my business online this past year solely from referrals. I haven't spent a dime on paid advertising. I haven't relaunched my group coaching. All of my customers and clients have come solely from word of mouth and referrals.
Prior to opening our brick-and-mortar business, we were very intentional about how we wanted the layout of our store. Because we knew we wanted to offer a different customer experience for people locally. I would say that the market was fairly saturated with winemaking businesses where I live. There were six other businesses that basically did the same thing that we were coming into the market to offer. So we knew we had to do things differently to stand out not only to attract new clients, people that had never done this before but to also attract clients that were going to other stores. And that might be looking for a different customer experience, different product, you name it. We also knew we wanted to focus on the word of mouth and referrals because it's a free method of promoting our business.
And so two things that made our business substantially different from all of the other businesses in Saskatoon were number one, our product was exclusive to our store, it was also superior, it was 100% pure juice product that we used, where all of the other businesses were adding water to their production of wine. The second was we wanted the customer experience to be premium and superior to what they were getting at other stores. This difference made our customer experience worth talking about which created that positive organic worth of mouth.
So for us, the layout of our store played a huge factor. We wanted an open kitchen concept to create a welcoming, open environment. We wanted lots of room to encourage groups to feel comfortable coming in. Similar to what you see in a lot of restaurants now where you can see the chef cooking your food. We wanted them to see the stainless steel tanks and the oak barrels. And so we made that a point of making that very visual when they walked in, not only for customers to just see how clean we kept things, especially when you're dealing with food or beverage, but also to spark interest and ask questions.
It was also a layout no other store had, which made our space something people talked about.
So it was very intentional. Our bottling spaces were basically like one big kitchen with a dishwasher, which a lot of the other stores didn't have so they had to hand sanitize all their bottles adding more effort and time to their experience.
So our whole goal was to create a premium customer experience for our customers so that they actually enjoyed being in the store, and it wasn't something that they just wanted to get in and out. We offered custom labels so that it was personalized. Again, no other store was really offering that if anything. But the other really great thing about the customer experience we were cultivating and very purposely doing was with the personalized custom labels that they got to stick on every single bottle.
Every time they opened a bottle at a dinner table or brought it to a friend's house, whatever it was, our name on the label or some funny quote it sparked a conversation which is word of mouth at its finest. I can’t count how many times people came into the store from referrals that mentioned the labels. It was a lot.
It was a very intentional way of cultivating a different customer experience for people. And lots of times, as I said, you know, these are the things that are cut out of businesses for budget reasons. But the cost of creating a unique or exceptional customer experience is far more cost-effective than paid ads.
It’s also a way to promote your business through word of mouth and referrals. Plus more people are going to listen to friends and family or somebody that they trust about working with somebody else. And so the more you can cultivate that customer experience worth talking about within your business the more people will spread your business through word of mouth and referrals.
When I entered into the online space, I remember a lot of rhetoric around lead generation and cold traffic and warm traffic, and all of the things that you need to do in the front end of the business to generate sales. I found a lot of people saying you couldn’t create consistent income from referrals and word of mouth. And yet, it’s what I’ve done. So, I stopped listening to what others said was possible and doubled down on creating an exceptional customer experience for my clients. And through that, I continue to receive referrals.
So for anybody that wants to grow their business, through word of mouth and referrals focus on cultivating this exceptional customer experience for your people from that very first point of contact to the very end and ongoing, as I shared with the label idea. Think about unique ways your customers will continue to talk about your business after they leave it.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me because I know I can talk really fast. I know I can cover the information pretty quickly and I just don't want to leave you guys hanging so if you have any questions about the customer experience, worth of mouth and referrals shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org